I’m a little slow on current events lately, can anyone give me a debrief on why the hell all this is happening? I did a quick search for articles but found no quick summaries, mostly lengthy stories. [/quote]
All this actually started a few years ago when the Ukrainian government was negotiating an association accord with EU representatives. It would have, among other things, facilitated free trade with the rest of Europe and opened up many new markets for Ukrainian goods. This would have been a great boost to the Ukrainian economy and helped raise the standard of living for many, many of the Ukrainian poor.
In exchange, Ukraine would need to institute reforms to reduce corruption in the political and judicial systems and remedy many human rights violations perpetrated by the Ukrainian government. Now, Russia doesn’t like this because we have very profitable trade agreements with Ukraine that could be threatened by this agreement so our government offered a monetary aid package and more mutually beneficial aid packages to the Ukraine with none of the demands on reform.
The Ukrainian prime minister and his government decided to accept our agreement (as far as economic benefits, both were about the same) so that they could not have t bother with reforms, as well as Slavic solidarity, and this pissed off a lot of Ukrainians who really wanted those reforms and closer ties with the west, so protests were staged.
The Ukrainian government answered with anti-protest laws and the good old secret police, which helped motivate many towards violence and here we are.